Some pirates are better than others

by | Apr 14, 2009

The International Maritime Bureau’s live piracy map is worth a look. In 2005 (see here for 2005 map), there were many more attacks in South East Asia than off the horn of Africa, but today Somalia has become the epicentre of the industry. There have been more attacks off the horn of Africa so far this year than in the whole of 2005, while piracy in South East Asia has become a rarity.

The 2009 map also shows how much more efficient South East Asian pirates are than their brethren in the western Indian Ocean. All the raids there this year have resulted in capture of a vessel, whereas in Somalia, attempted attacks far outnumber actual attacks. Perhaps as they become more practised, the Somalis too will become more effective, enabling them to some extent to counter the increasingly forceful response by the West.

IMB Live Piracy Map 2009: red = actual attack, yellow = attempted attack

IMB Live Piracy Map 2009: red = actual attack, yellow = attempted attack

Author

  • Mark Weston

    Mark Weston is a writer, researcher and policy adviser, and the author of The Ringtone and the Drum: Travels in the World's Poorest Countries.